You just finished a trail run… 12 miles and you're pretty sure you beat your PR (personal record). Only one problem, you didn't take your phone and record the pace! Whether you're a weekend warrior or a competitive runner, swimmer or cyclist who has distance and pace goals, you need Strava in your life – and you MUST pair it with a watch! As they say in the OCR (obstacle course racing) community… if it's not on Strava, does it really count?
I decided to test the Strava app out for myself and paired it with a Suunto 9 Baro watch. Strava can also be used on your phone and pair with most watches on the market. It's as easy as connecting the apps and the watch immediately pairs.
Why Strava? Two words: Training and Safety. In Southern California, hiking and trail running is something many of us do. Unfortunately, we see many cases of missing hikers in the news on a weekly basis. Strava has a new safety feature called, Beacon for Strava Summit Members. It's a new feature for Apple Watch and is also available on Garmin watches and for smart phones.
- Allows members to share their real-time location with family and friends.
- When you're signed up for Strava Summit, you can select up to three contacts to share your location with during your recorded activity.
- When you begin recording your activity, those three contacts will receive a link to view your location until you stop recording your activity.
- Anyone that you share that generated link to will be able to see your location while you are recording with Beacon enabled.
- Once you finish recording, the contacts you shared the generated link to will no longer be able to see your current location.
When it comes to training, I loved testing it with the Suunto 9 Baro watch, which just launched in June. As I was training for a triathlon sprint, I tested it in the ocean. The next-generation multisport GPS watch is durable and accurate. If you're out training for a full day, you don't have to worry about the battery. Its smart battery system can generate up to 120 hours with GPS.
It's extremely light and comfortable, so you're not thinking about what's on your wrist when you're racing.
The Suunto 9 features:
- A color touchscreen to navigate the user-friendly OS.
- Eighty pre-built sport modes come standard, with customizable screens providing unlimited options for in-activity views.
- Activity tracking data like distance, pace, HR, etc.
- Delivers functional data like EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) and PTE (Peak Training Effect) for athletes that demand more information.
- Athletes can also pull training plans onto the watch to guide their daily workouts, get regular checkups on their progress across sports in an easy-to-read infographic, and use 24-hour HR monitoring to inform their rest and recovery needs.
Separate from the watch, Strava has their Summit Membership option, which gives you an Analysis Pack, Training Pack and Safety Pack (Previously mentioned Beacon). You can
- Personalize your training plans
- Get detailed race analysis
- Heart rate analysis
Strava statistics are fantastic because they really break down your goals. You can see your average runs per week, distance and elevation gain.
The best part about Strava? It allows you to connect with your athletic community, give kudos to friends and teammates for their training runs or rides and keep in touch!
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